Lopez Spoils Party to Take Warrington’s IBF Title in Leeds

Warrington vs Lopez

Fighting in front of a home crowd at the First Direct Arena in Leeds, Saturday night was supposed to be Josh Warrington’s party.

The Englishman was the favourite with the crowd and the bookmakers, paying 8/11 to beat Luis Alberto Lopez in this IBF World Featherweight title fight. Warrington stepped into the ring as the defending champion, having recently won the IBF belt for a second time off Kiko Martinez in March 2022.

It was to be Lopez’s night to celebrate, however, as the Mexican featherweight made it ten wins in a row with a hard fought majority decision over Warrington in Leeds over the weekend. We look at how this fight unfolded, and what it means for Lopez now.

Lopez Starts Fast, Holds on for Decision Win

Perhaps if this was a 15 round fight, rather than 12 rounds, Lopez wouldn’t be holding the IBF World Featherweight belt right now.

Mexico’s Lopez started off fast, dominating the opening rounds and landing some good shots on Warrington. Lopez was primarily the one on the front foot, unleashing combinations and pushing Warrington around the ring. A head clash in the second cut the 29-year-old badly, and caused blood to pour from above his left eye. This did not deter Lopez, however, who kept landing shots and putting in work on the body of Warrington.

After the eighth round, Lopez began to tire, and the tide turned in this clash. Warrington was getting paid with his left hook, and Lopez was being reprimanded for holding and attempting to slow down the fight. The Englishman landed several clean shots in the final rounds, and Lopez looked frantic.

It was too little, too late, however, as two of the judges scored this fight 115-113 in favour of Lopez, and one calling it 114-114, giving Lopez the majority decision.

Tension in Post-Match Interviews From Both Fighters

Comments from either side after the clash indicated a degree of discontent from both camps in the way this fight panned out.

“I had to respect him coming into his city, I knew he was a dirty fighter but he surprised me, hitting me to the leg and the glutes. I don’t think the referee did his job. Boxers need to be looked after, it’s a dangerous sport,” said Lopez.

Warrington had complaints of his own, however, stating, “Because of the stigma that I’m a dirty fighter, he was playing off that a lot. He got cut from an accidental clash of heads, he was coming forward when I had my head down… I know it was close at one point, but wild punches when they are hitting on the gloves are not scoring points. I’m devastated to lose my title like that.”

Where to From Here for Warrington?

Josh Warrington isn’t getting any younger, and losing his IBF World Featherweight belt is a blow to the Brit’s career.

The 33-year-old spoke into this in his post-match comments as well, saying, “Maybe unifying is a step too far now but I can still have a big fight against one of the champions. I feel a little bit hard done by.”

While Warrington has made it clear that he has his eyes set on a big fight in the United States before he retires, perhaps a rematch is on the cards in the more immediate future. Given the bad blood between these two, if a rematch was secured and won by Warrington, this is definitely something that the Brit could springboard off for one last big fight in his career.

About the author

Bren Gray

Bren is our resident Kiwi, and has been playing or watching sports down under in New Zealand for the better part of three decades. With 12+ years experience as a professional writer, Bren loves to dive deep into all things sport to bring the best betting analysis and breaking news here at Pundit Feed.